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Things To Do

18 Awesome Things Every Angeleno Should Put on Their Fall To-Do List (2015)

September 5, 2015 by Brian Champlin

The weather is cooling down. The leaves are (vaguely) changing color. The traffic is getting worse because the kids are back in school.

Must be fall time in Los Angeles!

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This autumn there are a ton of fun activities and events to explore around L.A., from an amazing Rain Room exhibit coming to LACMA to WeHo’s massive Halloween Carnaval to JPL’s annual open house.

Take a look a list below, and start making your plans early.

And most importantly… enjoy!

[RELATED: The Best Way to Find Discount Tickets in Los Angeles]

[REMINDER: In some cases We Like L.A. does receive revenue when visitors click on ticket links and make purchases, however we maintain complete editorial control over the events we suggest. Basically, it only makes it on to the website if we think it is cool!]


1. LA County Fair

The LA County Fair kicked off on September 4 and will run until September 27, so there’s plenty of time to get your fill of live music, carnival rides, and more fried food than you could possibly imagine.

2. Oktoberfest at Alpine Village

Enjoy traditional Bavarian fun, food, and beer at the oldest running Oktoberfest celebration in Southern California at Alpine Village in Torrance. Things kick off on September 11 and the festivities continue all the way until October 31.

3. Kaleidoscope VR Film Festival

Virtual Reality content creation is just scratching the surface of what might be possible, but you can get a sneak preview at this traveling showcase of some 30 VR films, all viewable on Samsung Gear VR and Oculus VR headsets. In Los Angeles on September 23, location TBA. The future is now!

4. Broad Museum Opening

The Broad Museum opening has been eagerly anticipated for some time now, so much so that their website actually crashed due to too many users trying to log in when the online ticketing system for free reservations went live this past week. The museum officially opens on September 20, and even if tickets for the opening may be all gone, you should still try to see if you can book a reservation for later this fall.

Broad Museum

Credit: Iwan Baan, courtesy the Broad and Diller Scofidio + Renfro

5. Day of the Drum Festival + Jazz Festival at Watts Towers

The Watts Towers Day of the Drum Festival (September 26) celebrates the role of drums and drummers in world cultures, past and present. The Simon Rodia Watts Towers Jazz Festival (September 27) pays homage to jazz, gospel and rhythm and blues through a day-long celebration and concert.  Best part? Free admission to both events!

6. Tar Fest

On September 26, 88.5 FM KCSN and Launch LA present a day of family friendly activities and live music (all for FREE) at Hancock Park for Tarfest LA, 2015.

7. Lobster Festival(s)

If you don’t make it to the Original Lobster Festival on September 11-13, you can still check out the Redondo Beach Lobster Festival over the weekend of September 25-27. Highlights include tons of live music, a kids’ area, cocktails, food, craft beer, and of course many great lobster creations for your consumption. Get more information and discount tickets (while supplies last) via our friends at Goldstar.

8. LA Korean Festival

Now in its 42nd year, the LA Korean Festival aims to promote the best of what Korean culture has to offer in a massive street fest that includes tons of food vendors, live music, performances, and exhibitions. Oh, and it’s FREE to attend! Takes place October 1-4.

9. L.A. Haunted Hayride

If the idea of hopping on a bandwagon that travels through the darkness of Griffith Park while costumed characters seep out of the shadows to try to terrify you sounds like the time of your life… then step right up to the L.A. Haunted Hayride! The hayride will run from October 2-31 (every Friday-Sunday, plus some Thursdays and Wednesdays), and our friends at Goldstar have some special deals to save you about $5 on select dates.

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10. Rise of the Jack-O’-Lantern Festival

Attention pumpkin carving enthusiasts! The Rise of the Jack-O’-Lantern Festival features more than 5,000 hand-carved illuminated jack o’lanterns created by professional artists and sculptors arranged in creative ways along a 1/3-mile scenic walking trail all set to an original music score. In 2015 there are two L.A. locations where you can enjoy The Rise, at either Descanso Gardens or Santa Anita Park. ALSO: Check our friends at Goldstar for some discount ticketing options for The Rise throughout October.

11. The JPL Open House

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California has an annual open house event that’s free to the public where visitors can get in touch with their inner scientist through exhibits such as a life-size model of Mars Science Laboratory, space mission demos, JPL’s machine shop (this is where they build robots!), and the Microdevices Lab. Takes place over the weekend of October 10-11, 2015. Yay science!

12. CicLAvia: Heart of the City

CicLAvia has become L.A.’s signature celebration of urban walking and cycling, and to commemorate their 5th anniversary they’re creating a 6-mile route that will weave through Boyle Heights, the Arts District, Little Tokyo, Civic Center, Chinatown, Historic Core and as far west as Macarthur Park. It all goes down on October 18 from 9:00am – 4:00pm.

13. Los Angeles Archives Bazaar

If you’re all about the history of Los Angeles then you need to come check out the 10th annual Los Angeles Archives Bazaar, presented by L.A. as Subject and the USC Libraries. Listen to stories of L.A.’s past, talk to experts and museum curators, and browse collections and archives that document the complex fabric of our city’s history. Free and open to the public at the Doheny Library (at USC) on October 1.

14. Day of the Dead Festival

The 16th annual Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Day) festival will take place at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery on October 24 starting at noon. Come out and enjoy a day of traditional Mexican cuisine, arts, crafts, and plenty of costumed guests getting into the spirit of things. This year’s theme is “Shamanic Visions of the Huichol.” Admission is $20 for adults, children 8 and under are free.

15. West Hollywood Halloween Carnaval

On Halloween night, 2014, an estimated 500,000 people took the the streets in West Hollywood in one of the biggest Halloween celebrations in the entire world. Organizers are still in the process of finalizing this year’s lineup, but if it was anything like the festivities will be an event to remember.

16. Rain Room Exhibit at LACMA

The “Rain Room” is the work of London-based art collective Random International and, more or less, allows exhibit goers to walk through a rain storm and experience all of the effects but without getting wet. Coming to LACMA starting on November 1.

17. AFI Film Fest

AFI’s annual week-long celebration of international cinema features both modern masters and emerging filmmakers takes place from November 5-12, 2015.

18. LA Auto Show

One of the largest and most influential auto shows in the world returns to the Los Angeles Convention Center on November 20-29.

What are you looking forward to doing this fall in Los Angeles? Let us know in the comments below!

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